Growing Matters Garden Centre

About Us

Growing Matters Garden Centre sell quality gardening materials to the general public. We are also a Horticultural Therapy Project providing voluntary work for people with mental health needs.

Growing Matters is based at, though not run by, Lancaster and Morecambe College in Torrisholme, Morecambe. There are two sites at Growing Matters (though this could change in the future). The main site is open to the public consists of: a large greenhouse, sales areas, The Secret Garden, Country Craft Shop and open vegetable frames. There is also a plot of land nearby which is used for growing fruit and veg. There is good disabled access and there is plenty of parking around the LMC site.

Growing Matters is managed by the charity Making Space and their charity number is 512907.

As it is also a therapy unit we have to meet certain standards. We have four staff members and a number of volunteers helping out where possible. The members of Growing Matters are able to do voluntary work in a comfortable and relaxing environment.

About Us - A Brief History of Growing Matters

The project was started by Joyce Morse by making window boxes at the old Occupational Therapy department at Lancaster Moor Hospital. She was then given a plot of land at the old Moor Hospital Nurseries. It was then called Horticultural Therapy.

The site grew up to cover about two and a half acres with four greenhouses, growing areas, a polytunnel, enclosed garden, a large potting shed and one portacabin. Chickens and Geese were also kept on the site. When much of the old hospital was closed down the land on the south-west site including Horticultural Therapy was sold off to be used for housing. The unit moved in February 2000 to a new site at Lancaster & Morecambe College in Torrisholme, Morecambe. Joyce and others built up this new site from bare land (a former tennis court) to what it is today.

In 2003 the Project was management of the project was taken over by the charity Making Space. Making Space is charity number is 512907. We also adopted the new name Growing Matters.

During 2004 the project had a 100% change in staff including some of our longest running. Joyce Morse being the last to go retiring from managing Growing Matters on the 8th of February 2005. All will be greatly missed.

Angela Nagorski took over the running of Growing Matters from February 2005 which she continues to run to the present day.

About Us - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Growing Matters?

Growing Matters is a horticultural therapy project providing voluntary work for people with mental health needs. It also functions as a garden centre selling plants, produce, garden furniture, arts and crafts to the general public.

Where is Growing Matters?

Growing Matters is located in Morecambe, Lancashire, UK at Lancaster & Morecambe College. You can find maps here.

What do you sell?

Plants - Herbaceous Perennials, Herbs, Alpines, Shrubs, Hanging Baskets, House Plants, Bedding Plants, Seasonal Fruit & Veg. Garden Accessories including - Bird Tables, Bird Boxes, Bird Feeders, Benches, Mini Cold Frames, Hand Made Natural Wood Sculptures, Trugs. Arts and Crafts Including - Hand Made Greeting Cards, Mosaics Pottery, Woodcrafts, Booklets, Dried Flowers, Lavender Bags, Dried Bunches of Lavender. Seasonal Gifts - Easter Cards, Christmas Decorations, Garlands, Wreaths, Candle Displays, Hand Made Christmas Cards. When are you open?

Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 3:30 pm. We are open throughout the year except Christmas and Bank Holidays.

Do you sell.........?

Please either phone us on 01524 581405 or use the contact area here if you want to know if we stock a particular item.

Do you do mail order?

Certain items only. Please contact us for details

Do you deliver?

Only to the local area and depending on the size of the purchase as we have limited transport capabilities. Please contact us for further details.

About Us - Can You Help?

There are many ways to get involved with Growing Matters. If there is anything you can help us with from following then please don't hesitate to contact us. Contact us by phoning 01524 581405. We're open Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 3.30 pm.

Voluntary Work

The project currently has four members of staff who are assisted with running the project with the help of a number of volunteers. We're always looking out for more help, so you feel you're able to work in a mental health environment, please get in touch. It is also particularly useful if you have a good knowledge and experience in horticulture. If you think you can help then please call us on 01524 581405


Being a charity we welcome donations from many places. This can be gardening materials, additional enhancements, art and craft materials, cash donations, transport, or anything else you might think we could use at our project. Please contact the site direct on 01524 581405 before making any donations.


We're always trying to advertised the project as it will attract visitors and more customers. At the moment we're limited to leafleting (but only in the immediate area as we don't have enough people to deliver en mass), a few posters around the nearby Lancaster & Morecambe College and the internet.

Anything Else

So if you think you can help then please feel free to contact us. If there's any other ways you think you can help us then please don't hesitate to contact us.

Plants & Produce

Here's where you can look through our plant lists and see if anything takes your fancy.

We have a good selection here at Growing Matters so there's bound to be something that takes your fancy :)

Feel free to stay and browse :)

General Plants

Carnivorous Plants

Fruit & Veg

Gardening Tips & Advice

Alpine Flowers from Seed

Many rockery plants for sale in garden centres are easily grown from seed and late autumn to early spring is the best time to sow them. The reason for this is that the seeds require a period of cold or even frost before they will germinate.

You will need:

  1. Drill 4 holes in the base of the drawer and cover these with a flat piece of slate or broken flower pot.

  2. Place the drawer in a place that is exposed to the frost and where it is convenient to check on when the seedlings appear. Keep it clear of the soil by standing the drawer on 4 bricks or pieces of timber.

  3. Fill the drawer to within 1 inch of the rim with sharp sand.

  4. Compost - The most important factor with alpines is drainage so mix the compost as follows:


  1. Gently scatter your seed evenly over the surface and cover them with ¼ inch of stone chippings.

  2. Water the pot gently with a fine rose.

  3. Plunge the pot to below ½ inch below its rim in the box of sharp sand.

  4. Leave the pot undisturbed till seedlings appear in spring. When these are ½ to 1 inch tall prick them out into 3 inch pots and grow on.

Grow Perennial Plants from Seed

Planting a large perennial border can be an expensive proposition, especially if planting in groups of 3, 5 or more of each species.

For the price of half a dozen plants you can grow dozens from seed.

A good starter is the Lupin. May and June are ideal months.

Fill a seed tray to within 1/4 of the rim with seed compost and level the surface. Scatter the seeds evenly over the surface and cover with a 1/4 of sieved compost.

Water with a fine rosed watering can and place in a light place out of direct sun.

The first leaves to appear on germination are the seed leaves. Gently hold one of these leaves, and using a pencil, lift the seedling by the root and pot up into a 3" pot. Place these outside in a sunny spot and keep watered.

When roots appear through the holes at the base of the pot, move the young plants into 4" - 5" pots and grow on.

When Autumn comes either plant them where they are to flower the following year or over Winter in a Cold Frame.

For the price of 1 packet of seeds (£1.50) you can easily raise 20 - 30 healthy plants and have the satisfaction of seeing a few small seeds become a stunning addition to your border.

Planning a Garden

Designing a garden isn’t difficult if a few simple steps are followed.

First test the soil pH. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil determines the plants you will or won’t be able to grow. Plants such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias must have acidic soil. Most other plants are flexible in this regard.

Use a compass to establish north and south. Areas of the garden facing north will tend to be cool and shady. South facing areas will be hot and sunny.

Large shrubs and trees will also create areas of shade so spend some time watching how the sun moves across the garden and make a note of hot and cool spots.

Different features require different situations so the following is a list of projects and where they will be most successful:

  1. Patio - Sunny.
  2. Herbaceous border and most annual flowers - Sunny.
  3. Pond - Partial shade but not beneath deciduous trees.
  4. Woodland garden - Shade.
  5. Rockery - Sunny.
  6. Vegetable plot - Sunny.
  7. Greenhouse - Sunny.
  8. Last but not least, somewhere to sit and relax - Shady.

Plants for Problem Places

Dry poor soil in full sun.

Plants have many design features which enable them to cope with lack of water and hot situations. These may be any of the following:

Thick fleshy water storing leaves.

Furry or hairy leaves which both trap water and prevent its release.

Hard oily leaves which reduce water loss and reflect the suns heat.

The following are a few candidates for a hot spot:

One final point. Any soil can be improved by adding organic matter like rotted manure or rich in compost. Thus increases the number of species which can be grown.

Local Information


A sunny attractive seaside resort sitting in Morecambe Bay on the North-West coast of England. Famed for it's magnificent sunsets, fresh potted shrimps and stunning views of the Lakeland hills, this resort is a must to visit. Morecambe sports a four and a half mile promenade, sandy beaches, iconic buildings like the famous Art Deco Midland Hotel and the large Victorian theatre - The Winter Gardens. gm_ti_morecambewintergardens_001_small.jpg


The first of three villages that eventually formed Morecambe. Once an ancient fishing hamlet, this small area grew and grew until it joined up with Bare and Torrisholme to create the town you see today.

Much of the older parts have been demolished but some buildings do remain around the Lord Street and Poulton Square areas.


The quiet but attractive village of Bare is located at Morecambe's eastern end. It contains attractions such as the delightful and tranquil Happy Mount Park and the Prince's Crescent shopping area. Well worth a look. It can be reached from bus routes 3, 3A and 4 which all run along Prince's Crescent.


One of three former villages which are now all absorbed into the resort of Morecambe.

A tradition village setting with a public square, shops, community facilities, The George Hotel Public House and The Shrimp Restaurant. It is also home to Lancaster and Morecambe College near its southern boundary, and of course, Growing Matters.